The idea: getting big bodies up hills and onto podiums with as little effort as possible. Oh, and looking pretty. Welcome to our #SlowverYonder bike build.
We started with a Giant TCX Advanced Pro in large. We wanted the Big Boy to be suitably sized to accommodate ex-basketballers, giant ring-ins and lazy benefactors.
We chose the TCX for flexibility and relative bombproof-ness. The Big Boy (and accompanying big boy or girl) needed to be as comfortable putting in some hard yakka on a bikepacking adventure as it was sveltely navigating the off-camber corners of a cyclocross race. Plus it needed to take a really solid beating.
Like most Over Yonder designs, the paint job for this custom build was inspired by the Australian outback - specifically our famous red clay. The pattern continues the earthy tones of this great southern land, but serves a more practical purpose also: wearing in.
One of the few safely-repeatable mottos of Over Yonder is ‘wear in, not wear out’. The idea is that gear gains character with age, and that that character should be embraced. That equipment should gracefully degrade with time, and only be abandoned when it has been flogged to death.
In that spirit, the Big Boy is designed to wear in, with a design that will display the stone chips and scrapes of adventurous freedom like a badge of pride. Instead of being traded-in for next year’s model, the Big Boy will be on our roster for years to come, and we will only grow to love it more.
Finally, a big shout out to Scott Vey @ Box ‘n Dice Designs for the paint job - and for not having a website or Instagram account to tag.
Given this is a bike to charge into the wilderness with and not to hang on the wall, the build needed to be solid, and adaptable.
Merging the best of on-road and off-road tech, we combined Shimano Dura-Ace shifting and braking with a Shimano XT Di2 rear derailleur (accommodating up to a 46t rear sprocket). We settled on a 42.
This meant we could run a 1x drivetrain with a 40t chainring and a big-ass 11-42 cassette, creating serious adventure and racing gearing options (well over a 1:1 ratio).
Why the 40/42 you ask? For a little bit of assistance up monster hills - and a little bit of luxury when stuck in the middle of nowhere. Something with wide tires and a laid-back attitude for the ultimate adventure cruise. Something a little #SlowverYonder.
You laugh now, but one day you’ll try climbing something like the CREB Track and you’ll be crying out to the heavens, offering your first born for a Big Boy 40/42.
Not that it can’t mix it in a CX race though, with more than enough by way of gearing options to get the job done. With racing in mind, we paired the bike with ZIPP 202 disc wheels and Challenge Limus tires to create a cyclocross fiend.
Finally, the part that matters, giving it a solid flogging to see how it performs.
For a bit of outdoor tomfoolery, we ditched the ZIPPs for adventure wheels, loosely defined as an aluminium cross-section (or I-beam) with as many spokes and as much tire width as the rim and stay clearance will allow. In this case, 40mm and sealant.
The result? A super cruisy, comfortable ride that had one XL rider fat-arming it all the way home.
More from Fainter Freezer
Choose from any of the two parts in our Fainter Freezer adventure, or the Road Book, for all the maps & information (and warnings) you need to get out and explore the area yourself.
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